Most cities have onerous sign codes, none more so than Scottsdale. This is not meant as a criticism. Indeed, Scottsdale’s has contributed to a community aesthetic second to none.
Most cities also regulate political road signs. When you can put them up. The size. And so forth.
But they are allowed. Every election season these campaign communications litter streets and avenues with self-promotion. And in just a couple of months they will be out in force, again.
So, it occurred to us why not pass emergency measures to allow small businesses still open the same signage opportunities as the politicians? After all, candidates are merely trying to win. Businesses are trying to survive.
It’s sad on the rare occasions when you are out on the streets these days. One can’t help but notice the ad hoc signage of desperation posted by local restaurants begging for customers, letting drivers know they are open, and how. Some of them are just a heart string tug away from a missing dog notice.
Scottsdale should not continue to lead from behind in this crisis. It, more than anyone, can send an immediate message to other Valley cities that it’s OK to relax commercial sign codes, temporarily, allowing desperate small businesses the same signage rights as desperate politicians.
Due to a recent Supreme Court ruling this may be allowed already. But why argue over details and the law when survival is at stake right now?
This idea is not a silver bullet. But it is another tool that could help the most economically vulnerable. And it would show that politicians don’t get to live by one set of rules while everyone else endures another. It would also show that politicians understand not only how to warn of pandemics, but to help stave off economic devastation too.